Is my memory fried? Question about Who Wants To Ba a Millionaire

A friend and I were talk about the show that Regis Philbin hosted. He claims a contestant had the opportunity to bow out of the questioning at any point. I recall that people had to answer each question until they missed one, at which point the person one the amount of the last “threshold” he passed. I checked the rules on the website and it appears my friend was correct. But I have no memory of this being part of the show? Does anyone remember this actually being part of the play. Was it a common thing on every show, or a rare occurence when the issue came up?

Any idea how often someone took the option of bowing out?


It was definitely a part of the show…You could stop whenever you wanted and take what you’d won so far. I think the last threshold was about $100,000. It would stink to make it from there to $500,000, realize you have no clue (and no lifelines) on the million dollar question, and resign yourself to losing $400,000.

I would say that the contestent bows out in a clear majority of the millionaire shows I’ve seen.

Not only could a contestant bow out at any time, he or she got to hear the next question before deciding.

I can only speak for the original UK version, having never seen the US version.

They start with a few easy questions that take you up to £1000. And once you reach that, you keep it whatever else. After that the questions start getting harder. so you answer a few more questions and go up to £8000. Now the host (Chris Tarrant) asks the next question. There are three things that can happen

  • You can answer the question correctly, and go up to $16,000
  • You can answer wrong, and drop down to £1000
  • You can decline to answer, and keep the £8000

Peter Morris is right as far as the U.S. version goes as well. There were two thresholds. You could miss an answer and leave with the money from the last threshold you successfully passed. Also, you could walk away at any time with the amount of money from the last question you answered correctly.

There are two thresholds. In the original US run with Regis Philben, they were at $1000 and $32000 after questions 5 and 10 respectively. In the syndicated version, I believe that they are $1000 and $25000, but I’m not positive.

$1000 and $32,000 were the amounts you won if you actually got an answer wrong, after having reached those thresholds. You could drop out any time, even after seeing the question but before saying “Final Answer”, and keep whatever you’d made up to that point.